The United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack has issued a disaster designation for counties in South Carolina that suffered damage and losses due to heavy rains and flooding. Governor Nikki Haley requested the disaster designation in an October 19 letter.
The designation makes farm operators in primary and neighboring counties eligible to be considered for certain assistance from the Farm Service Agency (FSA).
This assistance includes FSA emergency loans. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for emergency loans, which are awarded based on its own merits, taking into account the extent of production losses on the farm, and the security and repayment ability of the operator.
The following 29 counties were designated as primary natural disaster areas after USDA determined sufficient production losses had occurred:
Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Berkeley, Calhoun, Chester, Clarendon, Colleton, Darlington, Dillon, Dorchester, Edgefield, Fairfield, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Kershaw, Lancaster, Laurens, Lee, Lexington, Marion, Newberry, Orangeburg, Richland, Saluda, Sumter and Williamsburg
The following counties have been named as contiguous disaster counties:
Abbeville, Anderson, Beaufort, Charleston, Chesterfield, Greenville, Greenwood, Hampton, McCormick, Marlboro, Spartanburg, Union, York